The Review and Herald

258/1902

April 29, 1884

Are We in the Faith?

EGW

I would not miss being present at these early morning meetings; for here I meet my Saviour, and am strengthened and refreshed. Since I first took my seat in the cars to come on this journey East, I have enjoyed sweet peace in God. My soul has feasted on the love of Christ. While on the cars, I have been almost constantly sending up silent prayers to God, and my communion with him has been sweet. As I have read the Holy Scriptures, the gems of truth have shone with such lustre, and the beauty and harmony of truth has so impressed me, that I could not forbear praising God. At times, in contemplating heavenly things, my heart has been filled with a rapturous joy and love that is very precious, but that no words can describe. I love Jesus, I love his law; I want to be like Jesus, that I may reflect his image perfectly. I want to lie low at the foot of the cross, that I may be nothing, and Christ may be all in all. RH April 29, 1884, Art. A, par. 1

I want to see far more done in the way of presenting the truth than has hitherto been accomplished. Let us lay hold of the Arm of power. God has promised, and he will verify his word. He will work with us, and make our labor fruitful, when we seek him with the whole heart. RH April 29, 1884, Art. A, par. 2

Dear brethren, “examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith.” Many present may immediately respond, “Why, yes; I am in the faith, I believe every point of the truth.” But do you practice what you believe? Are you at peace with God and with your brethren? Can you pray with sincerity, “Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors?” or are you estranged from your brother, because you suppose he has injured you? Are there no heartburnings among you? Is there no bitterness in your hearts, no envying, no jealousy, no evil surmising, no misjudging of your brethren? Is there no emulation, no desire for special favor and honors, no wish to have the supremacy? These feelings do exist to a greater or less degree among brethren. RH April 29, 1884, Art. A, par. 3

Some of you seem to be earnestly struggling for forgiveness of sins, for freedom in God. Do you deserve the pardon that you are seeking? No, you do not; nevertheless, it is given you. And do you withhold from your brethren the forgiveness and affection of which you do not think them worthy? Would you have God deal thus with you? Deal with your brethren as you wish God to deal with you. If we expect our prayers for forgiveness to be heard, we must offer them in a forgiving spirit. We must forgive others in the same manner and to the same extent that we ourselves hope to be forgiven. The hard-heartedness that professed Christians manifest toward one another is not Christ-like, but savors of the Satanic. We must every one of us open our hearts wide to the love of Jesus, and encourage pity and affection for our brethren. RH April 29, 1884, Art. A, par. 4

Many are filled with self-importance and esteem themselves above their brethren. Such should let self die; let the carnal mind be crucified. If you have enmity, suspicion, envy, and jealousy in your hearts, you have a work to do to make these things right. Confess your sins; come into harmony with your brethren. Speak well of them. Throw out no unfavorable hints, no suggestions that will awaken distrust in the minds of others. Guard their reputation as sacredly as you would have them guard yours; love them as you would be loved of Jesus. Work for their interest, instead of seeking to tear them down that you may build yourself upon their ruins. It is Satan's work to injure the brethren, and he loves to have you help him in it. But disappoint him; do not let him triumph over you. RH April 29, 1884, Art. A, par. 5

Some pride themselves on being outspoken, blunt, and rough, and they call this frankness; but it is not rightly named, it is selfishness of the deepest dye. These persons may have virtues; they may be liberal, and have kind impulses; but their discourteous manners render them almost insupportable. They criticise, they wound, they say disagreeable things. Will the character they are cultivating recommend them to Jesus? Will it fit them for the society of heaven? We do well to examine ourselves to see what manner of spirit we are cherishing. Let us learn to speak gently, quietly, even under circumstances the most trying. Let us control not only our words, but our thoughts and imaginations. Let us be kind, be courteous in our words and deportment. There is a great neglect in this respect. We do not adorn the doctrines we profess. We are not what we might be nor what God would have us be. Those who hope to be the companions of holy angels, should possess refined manners. If the principles of the Christian religion are carried out in the daily life, there will be a kind thoughtfulness for others; for this was characteristic of Christ. Then, although a man may be poor, he will have true dignity; for he is God's nobleman. RH April 29, 1884, Art. A, par. 6

Christianity will make a man a gentleman. We are the purchase of Christ's blood; and we are to represent him, to pattern after him. And he was courteous, even to his persecutors. The true follower of Jesus manifests the same mind, self-sacrificing spirit that marked the life of his Master. Look at Paul when brought before rulers. His speech before Agrippa is a model of dignified courtesy as well as persuasive eloquence. I would not encourage the formal politeness current with the world, which is destitute of the true spirit of courtesy, but the politeness that springs from real kindness of feeling. RH April 29, 1884, Art. A, par. 7

We profess a great and holy faith; and our characters must be in accordance with that faith, and with God's great moral standard. Let us shun every mean action, all dishonesty, all overreaching; and if any one is guilty of wrong in this respect, let him make restitution to the one he has wronged, and in addition bring a trespass offering to God, that when the times of refreshing shall come, his sins may be blotted out, and his name retained in the book of life. RH April 29, 1884, Art. A, par. 8

Let us examine our hearts in the light of the great principles of the law of God as defined by Christ: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and thy neighbor as thyself.” Here the conditions of eternal life are specified. The promise is, “This do, and thou shalt live.” Are you, my brethren, carrying out these principles in your every day lives? Are there not reasons why you do not come to the light, why you have no freedom in Christ, why you do not find that rest he has promised to all who come unto him with their burdens? RH April 29, 1884, Art. A, par. 9

Jesus invites, “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” “Take my yoke,” says Christ; “learn of me.” In doing this, you will find rest to your souls. You will be learning in the school of Christ to be meek and lowly in spirit, and to wear his yoke with cheerfulness. Have you found this rest? If not, there is something for you to do. Come to Jesus with brokenness of heart and contrition of spirit, praying for his grace. The melting power of God can do wonders in subduing the heart, and making it tender and impressible. The Lord is gracious; and when you have done all that is required on your part, you will find his words true. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” He never fails. You may come to him with full assurance of faith, and he will fill your heart with rest, and peace, and love. RH April 29, 1884, Art. A, par. 10

The religion of some is cold and formal, and is not carried into the every-day life. Such professors have earnest work before them to bring themselves into harmony with the mind and will of God. If in sincerity you offer the prayer, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me,” the answer is returned, “A new heart will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you.” Do not rely upon an experience that you had years in the past; it is your privilege to know that you have a living connection with Christ now. When the members individually stand fast in the faith, and have the favor of God, the church will have a power that she does not now possess. “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.” RH April 29, 1884, Art. A, par. 11